Gen1 Bot Conversion
This section holds the best practices and guides for converting existing Gen1 bots to Robocorp.
The main focus is on the process and helping you make the decision and have the confidence of where to start. Most of the items raised are things we recommend having in place for all automation projects, even if you are not considering conversion.
We are developing conversion and analysis tooling for BluePrism, Automation Anywhere and UiPath. The development status as of February 2023 is that we have the analysis support for BluePrism, UiPath, A360, and AA v11 that enables you to gauge the complexity of your robots and find the parts of the robots that you can and should see as a common component. On the conversion side, we have beta-level logic for BluePrism, Automation Anywhere 360, and UiPath available. We also have a very initial version of Automation Anywhere v11 conversion tooling out, but we need more example robots to improve that logic, so if you have any, please get in touch with us.
The tooling is available in our VS Code extensions. We recommend this approach as the use cases for conversion are often on the complex side, and VS Code provides you with the widest toolset possible. VS Code extension also gets the updates to the conversion and analysis tooling almost instantly, so that is the way to get the latest and greatest version we have available.
We are improving the conversions for each source system based on feedback and the available source material.
If you have production bots that you can share with us that the current conversion is not getting right, please get in touch with us via our Developer Slack or Forum
You do not need to share the entire robots with us anymore as running our tooling locally generates
schema.csv, which does not contain any business logic or data but enables us to improve the conversion logic.
It's common to have doubts about entering a conversion project. You will need to justify the investment of rethinking existing automation and how to free your developers from maintaining the existing automation to rewriting them in a new tool. Is it worth the risk and the investment?
Robocorp provides a multitude of resources to alleviate this. The Conversion Playbook is intended to help to understand what a successful conversion project looks like. In addition to best practices and lessons learned we've collected from a multitude of conversion projects, we provide a Conversion Accelerator to help you speed up the process of bot migration.
We are also eager to share some exciting results of benefits customers have seen as a result of migrating to Robocorp: significantly reduced time spent on maintenance, lowered technology costs, or speed of the bots. Feel free to reach out to us for any references (before we have a chance to push these out as public case studies).
If you are constrained with developer resourcing to carry out the migrations, Robocorp's Certified Partners are always willing to help.
The Playbook here is to give you a checklist to work with. Most items here have been honed in everyday software development projects. Some of the practices are universal project management best practices, but some only exist in citizen developers or low-code domains.
Most items in the Playbook are also valid for new processes, so worth a look.
With our Conversion Accelerator tooling, we aim to provide at least your existing bot's basic scaffolding and documentation and the capability to analyze multiple robots to find the common components. Using our tooling, you should get a presentation of what the bot is doing and in which order. This is mainly to combat the problem of documents being out-of-date.
The other function we aim to provide with the first level of our implementations is the ability to compare different bots. Converting the bot logic into Robot Framework makes the bot easy to compare. Analyzing bots enables you to identify common components and similarities, which can help out significantly when thinking about where to start.
As different Gen1 tools are working on very different domain levels and have a bunch of proprietary conventions, we need to do some expectation management in that our tooling cannot get to the "single-click" stage. We have, for example, seen that some base concepts in Gen1, in some cases, will generate inefficient robots. So the robots need to be examined with knowledge about the capabilities that Robocorp, Robot Framework, and Python bring to the table. These simplifications have generated significant gains in speedups and stability for the bot execution.
Any conversion process requires people who know the old and new technologies. We recommend/require that developers involved in the conversion have passed the level 3 certification course. You need to know the capabilities of parallel executions and work items to avoid leaving a lot of benefits out without even knowing it. It is also vital that you know a bit about the number of libraries available to you right out of the box with rpaframework and available in the open-source community.
- Automation training courses and certifications
We also have more courses coming, and our documentation is your friend, as well as our Portal bots. Just browsing the Portal bot can give you an idea of what kind of things can be done and how big or small the implementation is, as you can directly see all the sources of the bots there.
Best practices and guidelines for converting bots from Gen1 vendors to Robocorp
Robocorp tools to convert bots from Gen1 to Robot Framework
Get familiar with conventions of Robot Framework
Get familiar with conventions of Robot Framework and Python